Alameda Research and Three Arrows Capital Outdoing Each Other to Mint Record WBTC

On Friday, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s Almeda Research minted the biggest wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) ever, as per WBTC Network.

2317 BTC was minted on Sept. 25, breaking the previous single largest WBTC mint record by just one WBTC, which was set by Three Arrows Capital at 2316.5 WBTC just the day before.

Interestingly, the Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital made the now broken record by breaking Almeda Research’s largest mint of 1,999 WBTC, from last week.

Both the mints represent less than 3%, about 2.7%, of the current wrapped bitcoin supply, at 85,473, worth over $915 million.

Out of the total 116,551 BTC (over $1.2 billion) on Ethereum, WBTC accounts for a whopping 73%. In just five months, the total supply of wrapped bitcoin has grown by nearly 7,500% from 1125 WBTC and more than 13,000% from the beginning of the year.

In other news, WBTC is coming to Tron blockchain.

Tron entered a strategic alliance with custodian BitGo to make WBTC a TRC-20 token, a move which, according to Tron founder Justin Sun will help avoid the surging transaction fees on Ethereum.

“Everyone may now use their BTC/ETH to enjoy all the benefits of the Tron DeFi ecosystem without the high gas fees on Ethereum,” said Sun.

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Author: AnTy

“Nothing Compares to My Bitcoin Bet,” Says Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya

Bitcoin was the best performing asset of the last decade, and in 2020, it remains a winner again.

Compared to the S&P 500 hitting a new record with just 2.09% returns YTD and gold also reaching a new peak with 22.2% returns, Bitcoin is still 46.5% away from its all-time high but up 49% in 2020 so far.

As such, it makes sense that Bitcoin is Chamath Palihapitiya’s best bet.

The chairman of Virgin Galactic and a stakeholder at Warriors, this week, Palihapitiya took to twitter to impart some investment knowledge.

In his investment 101, he talked about taking time to understand that you own so that you can go “all in.” “Don’t confuse slugging percentage with batting average,” he said.

During this, he provided the example of Bitcoin, “I’ve made some great bets before, but nothing compares to my bitcoin bet in 2012 and sizing up…” with an added “PS, HODL.”

Recently, Palihapitiya revealed in the investor call of his company Social Capital that it has been a bitcoin investor since 2013. Here he compared BTC to the early days of Amazon and Tesla, with “great asymmetric upside which can 10x in 10 years.”

In another of this Twitter thread, Palihapitiya discussed an investment portfolio. Conventionally, investment for retirement was 60% equities and 40% bonds, which got the job done in the 80s, 90s, and 00s.

But now, in the world of zero and negative interest rates, bonds return zero, calling for a new addition.

Here, he suggested, one idea is to replace the bonds by increasing the exposure to alternative assets such as “crypto, cars, art, baseball cards,” and others.

“Most people have 0-5% in alts. This allocation will probably change if bonds remain at 0…it’s just the math,” he said.

Bitcoin Struck a Nerve

Big players and companies are slowly but increasingly turning to the leading digital currency, as we have seen this year with the likes of Paul Tudor Jones and MicroStrategy.

Bitcoin actually “struck a nerve” when the halving happened, the programmatic supply reduction – a completely predictable boring thing, the same time as the money printer went burr, said former macro hedge fund manager Raoul Pal.

The bitcoin proponent believes BTC to be “a priceless reserve and collateral asset.” Earlier this month, he revealed that more than 50% of his investment is in bitcoin.

In a recent interview, he also talked about a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which, according to him, is imminent and advised not to miss the “opportunity of a lifetime.”

“You’re allowed to front-run in Bitcoin, and I’m going to give you the biggest front-running opportunity of your life: they will get an ETF across the line. There will be billions of dollars that pour into it,” he said.

He expects “every” pension plans and family offices to allocate some of their money to it and from there, “the more the price goes up, the more they will allocate,” providing the retail an opportunity to “front-run the institutions for once as opposed to Goldman Sachs front-running us.”

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Author: AnTy

The XRP Ledger Foundation Launches To Accelerate XRPL Adoption And Development

The XRP Ledger Foundation, a non-profit, announced its official launch on September 24. The Ledger Foundation would be responsible for supporting the development as well as accelerate the adoption of the XRP Ledger across the globe.

The non-profit organization has received multiple grants from several organizations, including the remittance firm, Ripple and content moderation firm, Coil, and the crypto wallet service provider GateHub. The XRP Ledger Foundation also hopes to raise more funds in the near future from other stakeholders of the decentralized space.

The XRP Ledger has grown in popularity within the banking and financial industries, which make use of the ledger for facilitating instant cross-border transactions at a minimal fee.

The XRP Ledger Foundation aims to expand and accelerate the adoption of its dedicated ledger while also improving the underlying technology behind it. Apart from working on the XRP ledger, the foundation would also create a unique node list, support community-based initiatives, and help the developers to strengthen the ecosystem.

The key role of the foundation also includes securing capital for its developers. Wietse Wind, one of the most prominent XRP developers, which is also a member of the Fund’s board, suggested that they have already paid developers who would exclusively work for the XRPL.

The foundation would also work to create a dedicated XRP community fund, with the sole purpose would be to bring formal engagement to the community.

The announcements made by the foundation met with great enthusiasm from the community. David Schwarz, Ripple’s CTO, commented that Ripple is committed to supporting the growth of XRP ledger, and the foundation would further their goal in enhancing the ecosystem.

David Schwarz said:

“We and the community have worked over the past 8 years to dramatically increase the decentralization, performance, and feature set of the XRP Ledger and remain committed to its future growth and innovation.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Bitcoin Trading Like a ‘High Beta’ But Social Sentiment Remains Subdued

After a somber start of the week, Bitcoin is all set to end it on a higher note.

In the late hours of Thursday, the leading digital currency started recovering and went above $10,800. Since then, we have been keeping around $10,700 in the green on the back of just over $1 billion ‘real’ trading volume.

Altcoins are also feeling the gains with YFI around $29,500 and more cryptos in green than red.

According to trader @SmartContracter, however, over the next few days, a decline from $11,200 will signal the start of a move down and “not the end of it.” “Will be looking to short 10.9k and only longing if 11.2k is taken out again although I suspect it wont,” he said.

Many still expect that a move below $10k might not come, given that during the last bull market, the flagship cryptocurrency kept holding its weekly 21 EMA.

What’s disappointing is BTC’s weighted social sentiment for Twitter, “which measures the positive/negative ratio of comments multiplied by the overall frequency of comments.”

It is currently sitting at a 2-year low, showing a clear pattern of non-believers in the community after the crypto market experienced an aggressive retracement over the past few days.

However, “this level of negativity can often lead to a positive rally, as we’re seeing thus far today. Markets most commonly follow the path of least expected,” noted crypto data provider Santiment.

Still, it’s worth mentioning that the upcoming US Presidential elections, in early November, spells uncertainty and volatility across the markets. All the markets are acting like the same, whether it’s stock, gold, bond, or crypto.

“It’s really all the same at the moment. Crypto is simply trading like a high beta, and Defi like the highest beta of them all,” said trader and economist Alex Kruger.

But bitcoin’s correlation with the equity market is short-term, which many believe will soon end. The number of bitcoin entities, which is organic growth as opposed to hedge funds and whale trades moving capital in and out of BTC as they trade and hedge positions, continues to grow that will make sure of it.

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Author: AnTy

Ant Group Launches Blockchain-Powered Cross-border Trade Settlement Platform ‘Trusple’

Ant Group, owner of mobile payment app Alipay, launched a blockchain-powered platform for cross-border trade settlements this week. The move came ahead of its IPO, which it plans to list in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s STAR Market next month simultaneously.

The 16-year old giant, which is backed by e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group, is seeking to raise about $35 billion in the dual IPO to become the world’s largest IPO by surpassing oil giant Saudi Aramco’s billion last December.

Previously known as Ant Financial, Ant was rebranded this year as a tech firm due to tighter financial regulations.

Ant is known for submitting the most number of blockchain patent applications globally, over the past two years. The technology saw a surge in interest after President Xi Jinping said last year that the country should accelerate its development.

Its new platform, “Trusple,” is based on Antchain, the company’s blockchain technology.

On this platform, buyers and sellers upload their orders, which automatically generate smart contracts with information like logistics. The banks then process payments using Antchain.

The users of the platform could also include vendors that sell to other businesses through marketplaces like Alibaba’s overseas e-commerce site, AliExpress.

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Author: AnTy

IRS to Revise Form 1040 to Make it Harder for Traders to Escape Crypto Tax Obligation

The Internal Revenue Service is planning to change the 2020 tax form and make sure all taxpayers report about their cryptocurrency transactions.

The standard 1040 form will be altered by adding the following questions on the front page:

At any time during 2020, did you sell, receive, send, exchange or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency? And the taxpayer is required to check the box “Yes” or “No.”

“This placement is unprecedented and will make it easier for the IRS to win cases against taxpayers who check ‘No’ when they should check ‘Yes,’” says Ed Zollars, a CPA with Kaplan Financial Education.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the adjustment on Friday, noting that the question was previously, in 2019, in a spot that not all taxpayers had to fill out. But now it has been moved just below the taxpayer’s identity.

With this, the IRS is stripping any excuse for ignoring the rules. This also means, whoever fails to pay the taxes they owe on crypto transactions can be subject to penalties and, in some cases, even criminal prosecution.

“Primarily based on what we’re seeing, individuals are beginning to get scared,” said Chandan Lodha, the chief working officer of Cointracker, a software program firm promoting crypto tax-prep providers.

The tax agency has been focusing on virtual currency transactions for some time now. Just earlier this month, the IRS issued guidelines clarifying how cryptos are treated for tax purposes when received in exchange for certain services. An individual has to report the digital currency as ordinary income for receiving it through a crowdsourcing platform in exchange for providing a service, as per the memorandum.

In late August, it had also been affirmed that taxpayers must declare their cryptos as income, which were obtained for “microtasks.”

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Author: AnTy

China State-Owned Media Covers Crypto as 2020’s Best Performing Assets Driven by DeFi & Weak Dollar

In an unusual coordinated report on Friday, several Chinese state-owned media covered cryptocurrencies, calling them the best-performing assets of 2020.

The country’s top broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), ran a three-minute-long news clip, highlighting crypto assets rallying 70% this year.

“Cryptocurrency has undoubtedly become the top-performing investment” among several other global assets, said the report.

The clip also mentions DeFi and the weak dollar as the two reasons for the crypto bull market this year.

“China is just getting started on DeFi…” said a researcher at crypto fund The Spartan Group who noted the retail investors are likely to go for early DeFi projects in China like DODO and MCDex and the blue chips UNI, YFI, COMP, and MKR that also has a Chinese community.

CCTV also covered ETH being the top performer and fear of inflation driving the growth along with the central banks experimenting with CBDCs as a bull case for cryptocurrencies but government regulations being a major uncertainty.

“There is another following coverage today on CCTV2 abt PBOC encouraging accelerating DCEP adoption and enlarging beta test cases. So previously, coverage on ‘cryptoasset’s top performance’ seems to be related to this DCEP bull narrative in general,” noted Dovey Wan of Primitive Crypto.

A Bullish Affair

All of this got the Chinese crypto community’s attention, who shared the clip on WeChat as a bullish signal.

CCTV’s crypto reporting came after state-owned news agency Xinhua which also published an article titled, “Cryptocurrency is this year’s ‘No. 1 asset’” a day before. Prior to its digital version on Xinhua, the same article appeared on one of the longest-running state media, Cankaoxiaoxi, in print form.

Such a rare coordinated effort is at odds with China’s stance on crypto speculation, but trader Qiao Wage said it is a “misconception” that the Chinese government has always been “hostile” towards Bitcoin and crypto.

“If there was a parallel financial system that could rival the dollar-based system, they would love to be part of it. What they are hostile towards is fraud and speculative craze,” he said, adding, “I do agree with the view that they are against capital flight using crypto, which is pretty obvious.”

Yesterday, the South China Morning Post also reported of at least 1 trillion yuan ($145.5 billion) worth of funds moving out of China into gambling activities every year, aggravating the country’s economic and financial security risk, as per Liao Jinrong, the director-general of the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

“The volume and speed of cross-border capital flows are unprecedented,” Zhu Min, head of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University, was quoted by the People’s Daily mouthpiece this week.

“This will not only result in sustained fluctuations in major world currencies, but will also lead to higher volatility in global financial markets. Therefore, we must be prepared for potential risks,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchange Gemini Makes an Aggressive Move, Adds 15 Hot DeFi Tokens

DeFi is all the rage in today’s crypto world, and no one wants to be left behind, especially cryptocurrency exchanges.

Over the past few months, we saw these exchanges rushing to DeFi space – in the fastest ever listing of these tokens, a complete U-turn from the past few years when crypto projects had to approach them or even pay them to get their tokens listed.

Coinbase has already jumped the altcoins and DeFi mania, this time, it’s Gemini which defines DeFi as a “warm ray of sunlight shining down on us during the winter of our financial discontent.”

According to the exchange’s official announcement, “the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) revolution is coming into bloom, and it presents the possibility of permissionless, bankless, alternatives to the legacy financial system.”

The promise of DeFi is apparently “aligned” with Gemini’s “ethos” of giving its customers “greater choice, independence, and opportunity.”

While the exchange says these new tokens make up some of the major building blocks of DeFi, still, it warns that they present “unique risks,” and the listing doesn’t endorse the protocol and “makes no recommendation that” customers participate in the DeFi ecosystem.

Up until today, Gemini’s list of cryptos was extremely limited. A meager nine coins were available on the exchange for trading viz. BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, ZEC, BAT, LINK, DAI, and OXT.

But on Friday, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss-founded crypto exchange has made an aggressive move and extended this list to 15 more coins.

“We are proud to be the first regulated platform to offer trading and custody support in the State of New York,” for a total of 24 cryptos.

The exchange announced new support for the most popular DeFi tokens, including Balancer (BAL), Curve (CRV), Ren Network (REN), Synthetix Network (SNX), Uma (UMA), Uniswap (UNI), and Yearn.finance (YFI) which are available for both trading and custody.

Five tokens that were previously supported for custody, Decentraland (MANA), Kyber Network (KNC), Maker (MKR), Storj (STORJ), and 0x (ZRX), are now available for trading as well.

On top of this, Keep Network (KEEP), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), and tBTC (tBTC), three new coins altogether, have been added to its custody.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum ‘Getting Ready for Spadina’ Testnet Next Week

The Spadina testnet of ETH 2.0 has been scheduled for genesis before the month ends, on September 29 at 12 pm UTC, as per the dev update.

The means, next week, a “dress rehearsal” Testnet for the community to practice sending deposits, launching beacon nodes, and validator clients starting from genesis.

For this, Eth2 Standard API definitions are complete, and implementation started, and voluntary exit implementation is ready. Prysm web UI beta testing, meanwhile, will be coming in the first week of October.

It is a small scale testnet that will last just three days with 1024 validators with the main net spec requiring 16384 validators to launch.

For the eventual launch of Ethereum 2.0, Spadina’s deployment was announced a couple of weeks back, following the Medalla testnet going live last month.

This mainet-configuration test network will run parallel with Medalla with the aim to practice the more difficult and risky parts of the process before reaching the mainnet.

ETH 2.0 is expected to go live later this year or early next year with its phase-zero launch, but not everyone is excited to stake.

Still, a good 65% of 287 respondents of the ConsenSys survey revealed earlier this year that they intend to stake 32 ETH.

However, the extremely high fees and congestion on the Ethereum network are making it unusable for the small players for now. As we reported, Coinbase will no longer be covering the gas fees for its users.

“The Ethereum gas price is high due to increased network activity, which means that we have to find avenues to either support this increase in activity, or to reduce it,” said Kosala Hemachandra, founder and CEO of MyEtherWallet (MEW).

According to him, this can be done by “increasing the block gas limit to a safe amount and also by utilizing existing layer 2 solutions.”

Just this week, Optimism took its first step towards its testnet with Synthetix, Chainlink, and Uniswap being the early adopters.

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Author: AnTy

KuCoin Hack: Exchange’s Insurance Fund to Cover User Loss “Completely,” Tether Freezes 33M USDT

The Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin released a statement regarding detecting large withdrawals on September 26, 2020, at 03:05:37 (UTC+8).

The exchange has reportedly lost $150 million worth of funds, although KuCoin hasn’t declared it yet but released “suspicious addresses,” which are constantly updated. As per the company’s internal security audit report, some BTC, Tether, ERC20 tokens, and other cryptos from KuCoin’s hot wallets were transferred out of the exchange.

Tether has already frozen all the stolen USDT, but the community isn’t supportive of the move. This isn’t even the first time they did so; one address in 2017, eight in 2018, seven in 2019, and 24 in 2020 so far has been frozen by the company.

“If you steal our Tether, we’ll steal it right back,” commented one trader on this move.

KuCoin assured that “the assets in our cold wallets are safe and unharmed, and hot wallets have been re-deployed.”

In a live stream, KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said one or more hackers “stole” the private keys to hot wallets but those cold wallets, that aren’t connected to the Internet as such considered more secure, were unaffected.

He also said the exchange is in contact with the police and that “all the loss will be covered by KuCoin risk provisions.”

The exchange has transferred the remaining crypto assets to the new hot wallets.

The Asian exchange that trades over 200 cryptocurrencies has a daily trading volume of about $100 million, as per CoinGecko. Following the security breach, its exchange token KCS fell by over 17% but has since recovered to above $0.90.

The trouble at the exchange first started when users complained about withdrawal issues. Initially, it was maintained that the platform was experiencing a system issue, and later, KuCoin’s admin team claimed that “transactions are simply pending,” and funds are SAFU.

While Liu said the amount lost is “small,” that might not be the case, many are pointing out that there could be over 1k BTC and tokens like ETH, LTC, Omni USDT, XRP, YFI, OMG, Maker, Ocean Token, Chroma, Gladius, Hawala, and others lost.

Currently, the investigation is going on, and a security review will also be conducted. Still, the exchange has said that any losses suffered by a user would be “covered completely” by KuCoin and its insurance fund.

As “The People’s Exchange,” we will take full responsibility and maintain transparency,” said the exchange in an official statement.

For now, the exchange has suspended the deposits and withdrawals service, which will be restored gradually once it ensures a safe state.

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Author: AnTy